28 Apr 2007

Early release of Fiji's former vice president was biased - High Court

9:08 am on 28 April 2007

The Suva High Court has ruled that the deposed attorney general, Qoriniasi Bale's decision to release the jailed former vice president, Ratu Jope Seniloli, from prison appeared to be biased.

But the High court did not declare the release null and void and did not order Seniloli to go back to prison because he had already completed his sentence from home.

The legal challenge to the release was brought by the Citizens Constitutional Forum in January 2005, only a few months after Seniloli's release.

The CCF's director, the Rev Akuila Yabaki, says he is disappointed it has taken so long to get a ruling and within that time Seniloli was able to enjoy the fruits of a decision that was wrong in law.

Seniloli was jailed for four years in August 2004 for taking an illegal oath purporting to become Fiji's president during the May 2000 coup.